Birding in Uganda
Uganda remains one of the key birding destinations in the whole world with about 1085 bird species. One true endemic called a Fox’s weaver, 35 different Semuliki specials shared within the Congo basin range. Uganda still boasts 24 out of 26 Albertine endemic species as listed below;
- Handsome Francolin (Francolinus nobilis)
- Rwenzori Turaco (Tauraco johnstoni)
- Rwenzori nightjar (Caprimulgus Rwenzori)
- Rwenzori batis (Batis diops)
- Dwarf honey guide (Indicator pumilio)
- Kivu ground thrush (Zoothera tanganjicae)
- Red-throated Alethe (Alethe poliophrys)
- Archer’s robin-chat (Cossypha archeri)
- Collared apalis (Apalis Rwenzori)
- Mountain masked apalis (Apalis personata)
- Grauer’s swamp warbler (Bradpypterus Graueri)
- Grauer’s warbler (Graueria vittata)
- Neumann’s warbler (Hemetisia neumanni)
- Red-faced woodland warbler (Phylloscopus laetus)
- Yellow-eyed black flycatcher (Melaeornis ardesiascus)
- Chappin’s flycatcher (Musicapa lendu)
- Stripe-breasted tit (Parus fasciiventer)
- Regal sunbird (Nectarinia regia)
- Blue-headed sunbird (Nectarinia alinae)
- Stuhlmann’s double-collared sunbird (Cinnyris stuhlmanni)
- Purple breasted sunbird (Nectarinia purpureiventris)
- Dusky crimsonwing (Cryptospiza jacksoni)
- Shelley’s crimsonwing (Cryptospiza shelleyi)
- Strange weaver (Ploceus alienus)
- Grauer’s Broadbill (Pseudocalyptomena graueri)
On an average a 17 days safari, you can tick off about 450 bird species since the country boosts different habitats like swampy areas, higher altitude areas, savannah areas, forest areas, woodland areas, and mountainous areas.
Below are some of the key birding spots in the country;
- Botanical gardens Entebbe
- Mabamba swamp is famously known for the shoebill
- Mpanga forest
- Mabira forest
- Mount Elgon
- River Mpologoma
- Pian-upe game reserve
- Matheniko and Bokora game reserve
- Mount Moroto
- Kidepo valley national park
- Murchison falls national park
- Royal mile in Budongo
- Ziwa rhino sanctuary
- Semuliki national park
- Kibale national park
- Queen Elizabeth national park
- Maramagambo forest
- Bwindi Impenetrable forest
- Echuya forest
- Mgahinga national park
- Katinda swamp in Ntungamo
- Lake Mburo national park
Uganda Birding safari Packages
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|Crested Cranes||Crested Cranes|
Uganda has a diversity of bird species, a number of which are not easily spotted in any other part of the African continent. As you take time to marvel at the spectacular birds, you will certainly come across a diversity of additional wildlife that will turn your bird-watching safari into a very memorable encounter. The most ideal time to spot these birds is very early in the morning as well as late in the evenings.
A thrill of seeing new bird species, or spotting some bird species that was least expected to be found in this part of the world, from the elusive prehistoric dinosaur lookalike; the Shoebill; Blue Swallow, Short-winged Nightjar, Green-breasted Pitta; to the largest birds on earth; the ostriches.
The best spots for a bird
There are several birding destinations within the country and these have made Uganda certainly one of the finest birding paradises. There are more than 1010 bird species, all of which you may certainly enjoy on a Ugandan safari. The various national parks within Uganda are actually the biggest habitats for most of the bird species in the country.
Birding Destinations in Uganda
|Yellow mantled weaver||Capuchin Babbler|
Here, the most anticipated birds to see include: the endangered species of birds like Yellow mantled weaver, Nahan’s Francolin, Capuchin Babbler among others. This birding haven is a rainforest found in Buikwe district, just after Lugazi town about 30 kilometres from Kampala – the capital of Uganda. It’s also the best place for zip lining, nature walks, butterfly watching, and so many other additional activities here, and it’s best for an excursion. Mabira Forest Reserve is the biggest block of semi-deciduous forest left in Uganda.
Kidepo National Park
|Lesser Kestrel||Rufous Chatterer|
This is not only one of the most beautiful national parks in Uganda but also one of the best sites for birding safaris and the birds spotted here include; Lesser Kestrel, Rufous Chatterer, Pallid Harrier, and the largest and fastest flightless bird-the ostrich among several others. The beauty about this park is some birds are endemic to it only. It is located in North-Eastern Uganda, along the border of Uganda with South Sudan and full of magnificent Savannah and landscapes on the mountains.
|Papyrus Gonolek||Blue Swallow|
Mabamba swamp alone has over 260 species verified after the several surveys conducted and the bird species include; the Shoebill Stork, Papyrus gonolek, African fish eagle, African green pigeon, Black-winged stilt, Black-crowned Night Heron Malachite kingfisher, Blue Swallow, Pygmy Geese, Northern Brown-throated Weaver, Papyrus Canary, Goliath Herons, Caruthers’s Cisticola, and many more.
This birding site has an abundance of shoebill bird species that ease viewing them at any time of the day and this is one of the best spectacular sites for birding named as the best site in the African continent.
Semuliki National Park
|Black wattle Hornbill||Nkulengu Rail|
Famously known as the true birder’s haven, Semuliki National Park is situated at the Uganda – Congo border, in the extreme western part of the country in Bundibugyo district. The park is the most spectacular and sought-after birding site of the continent with 0ver 400 bird species including the golden-naped weaver, Grant’s bluebill, Maxwell’s weaver, Lyre-tailed honey guide, Red-cheeked waxbill, Red-faced woodland warbler, White-throated Blue swallow, Ground-Thrush, Black-casqued wattled hornbill, Piping hornbill, Yellow-throated nicator, Black-billed turaco, Ross’s turaco, Swamp palm bulbul, Long-tailed Hawk, Congo Serpent Eagle, Nkulengu Rail, and Black Wattle Hornbill among others
Kibale National Park
Kibale National Park is not only the primate capital of the world alone but also a birder’s paradise. The park is a spectacular habitat for endemic bird species like; Nahan’s Francolin in addition to more species like; the Great Blue Turaco, White-naped Pigeon, Blue-shouldered Robin-Chat, Yellow-spotted Barbet, Purple-headed Starling, Black-billed Turracco, Red-chested Fluff tail, Joyful Greenbul, Green-breasted Pitta, Cabanis Greenbul, Grey-throated Tit Flycatcher, and several others. See your checklist and book your trip with www.jewelsafaris.com to update it with more unique bird species.
Other popular birding destinations in the country include Queen Elizabeth National Park, Bigodi Wetland Sanctuary, Mt. Elgon National Park, Rwenzori Mountains National Park, and Bwindi Impenetrable National Park among several other birding sites spread across the country.
Birds’ easiest access habitant.
Ostrich is the world’s largest and fastest flightless bird and is endemic to Pian Upe Wildlife Reserve and Kidepo Valley National Park.
Pelicans are water-based birds and are mainly found at Kazinga Channel in Queen Elizabeth National Park.
|African darter||Goliath heron|
African Darter is a snake bird with an elongated Rufus neck extended in a serpentine fashion.
Goliath Heron, Saddle-billed Stork, and Piacpiac are usually spotted during boat trips, and game drives in Murchison Falls National Park.
|Shoebill||African Fish Eagle|
Shoebill Stork is a large grey swamp dweller mainly seen at birding sites like Semuliki Wildlife Reserve, Mabamba Swamp, and in Murchison Falls National Park. It is the most sought-after bird species in Uganda and the main motivation for several ornithological safaris to Uganda.
The African Fish Eagle is s unique grey snake-eating raptor.
|Africa Jacana||Grey-crowned crane|
Africa Jacana is common in most wetlands in Uganda
The Grey-crowned Crane famously known as the Uganda Crane or Crested Crane is Uganda’s national emblem and is commonly sighted in swamps and grasslands.
African grey parrots are mostly seen in any forested habitat.
Great Blue turaco is found in forested areas including Entebbe Botanical gardens.
Red-throated Bee-eater breeds in tall sandbanks on Lake Albert and the Nile below Murchison Falls.
Other beautiful birds found in Uganda include Pied Kingfisher; Giant Kingfisher, Malachite Kingfisher; Lilac-breasted Roller, Hoopoe, Black and White casqued Hornbill, African Finfoot, Jackson’s Francolin, Denham’s Bustard, African Skimmer, Blue-throated Roller, Black bee-eater, Forest/White-headed wood hoopoe, African Pied Hornbill, Chocolate-backed Kingfisher, Papyrus Gonolek, Red-headed Bluebill. Ross’s turracco, Eastern grey plantain-eater, African Emerald Cuckoo, Coucals, Helmeted Guinea Fowl among several others.
If you enjoy bird watching, book a safari to Uganda and you will have a lifetime bird watching experience. www.jewelsafaris.com will have your birding safari appetite quenched while on this bird watching safari.